Tester Fights Federal Regulation, Urges Local Control of Schools

Senator Voices Concerns with Education Department's Proposed Rules

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester, a former teacher and school board member, is calling on the Department of Education to reconsider its proposed rollout of certain education reforms for schools across Montana.

Tester is urging the Secretary of Education, John King, not to get in the way of letting local and state school officials use measures beyond just standardized tests to evaluate the success of their schools.

In implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Department of Education is proposing that schools which fail to test 95 percent of their students follow specific federal mandates.

“We all share the goal of ensuring that every single one of our children has the opportunity to go to a good school that prepares them for a successful future,” Tester wrote. “But as a former teacher and school board member from a rural state, I strongly caution you to avoid the mistakes of No Child Left Behind and ensure that local voices aren’t drowned out by aggressive federal regulation.”

Tester submitted his letter to the Education Department for its public comment period on proposed rules to implement ESSA.

Tester, a longtime proponent of local control in the classroom, voted for ESSA which was intended to roll back the test and punish culture of the No Child Left Behind Act and return control of the classroom to state and local leaders.

Tester’s full letter to Secretary King can be found HERE.